HYOGO (TR) – Hyogo Prefectural Police have confirmed that a pistol found along a path in Kobe’s Kita Ward was used in a shooting incident last month that left a bodyguard of the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi boss dead, reports Sankei Sports (Oct. 16).
According to police, the results of a ballistics analysis revealed that one of two pistols found along the footpath near a bus stop was used by a gunman to fire upon a vehicle containing Yuhiro Kusumoto, a 44-year-old member of the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi, on a road in Nagata Ward on the morning of September 12.
Kusumoto, who is a bodyguard for top boss Yoshinori Oda, was struck by one bullet in the head. He was later confirmed dead at a nearby hospital.
Police later placed Tatsumi Hishikawa, a 41-year-old member of the Yamaken-gumi, the key subordinate gang of the Kobe Yamaguchi-Yumi, on a nationwide wanted list on suspicion of murder.
Police believe the incident is the result of a gang feud that dates back to 2015, when the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi formed after the split of the Yamaguchi-gumi.
Then, in April, several gangs left the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi due to dissatisfaction with internal operations. The dissenting gangs subsequently formed what is now known as the Ninkyo Yamaguchi-gumi under the leadership of Oda.
The pistols were found inside a bag on September 16. The path is located about 10 kilometers from the road where the shooting took place. An investigation is underway to determine how the weapons wound up being dropped on the path.